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October 12, 2006

MySpace Used as Evidence in Probation Violation Case

In another example of how police and the courts adapts to new technology as investigatory tools and evidence, one young man's MySpace page earned him a sentence for probation violation.  Christopher Leon was involved in a 2005 brawl in Plato Township, Illinois. Over 50 people from two high schools participated that left another young man dead.  Leon was one of the participants who was prosecuted for brawling.  No one has been charged in the death.

Part of the initial sentence in Leon's case was that he not drink or have contact with the other 16 defendants in the case.  Enter the MySpace page where Leon used the name "Cold Heat" to post messages for the other defendants along with pictures of him holding beer and other alcohol in front of scantily young ladies.  Prosecutors brought this evidence to court yesterday and asked the judge to send him to jail for 5 years.  The judge declined to do that.  He did however, sentenced Leon to 1 year of intensive probation, 60 days  of electronic home monitoring, random drug and alcohol tests, 130 hours of community service, and a curfew of 7PM. Another violation means prison.  The MySpace page has since been removed.

The moral of the story is that if one is under a legal obligation, such as probation, and one voluntarily posts material that flies in the face of that obligation, a court will not chalk it up to youthful indiscretions.  That may work, however, if Leon ever runs for congress.

This story came from the Chicago Tribune.

October 12, 2006 | Permalink

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